Thursday, 27 September 2012

New found Love

Me: "Good morning!"
Grenadian: "Alright."

Culture shock shows itself in many different ways. Greetings, as exampled above, aren't always typical. Rain falls in torrents on laundry day. And good luck with trying to mail a birthday card. It'll arrive 2 weeks after your friend's special day. These things aren't bad but they do serve to remind me that I'm not in North America anymore (as if the humidity and the accents weren't enough..). Really, the most difficult adjustment for me has been grocery shopping. I can deal without climate control. The bugs don't gross me out too much. But not being able to run to Superstore and buy my beloved rooster sauce saddens me. Moreover, meticulously organising a meal plan doesn't guarantee easy grocery shopping. Dinner is at the mercy of grocery shelf stock. My wallet doesn't often recieve mercy from the mis-pricing of foods, either. The lazy side of me doesn't always appreciate walking to and from the grocery store multiple times on shopping day. However, at the end of all this complaining, I have a full fridge, full tummy (I have a bad habit of picking up a treat for myself at the store. I mean, since I'm out..), and am ready for the fun part. Cooking!

Culture shock typically describes a negative experience. For me, it has provided the opportunity for a  grand adventure. Living in Grenada without a job has forced me to slow down and consider what I should do with myself. I've been forced to confront myself about how I use my time and about what I value as important. Grenada has given me an appreciation for everyday life that I used to dismiss. Namely: cooking. When I lived in Greenville, I hated cooking. Don't get me wrong, I love eating but the process of chopping, dicing, measuring, and baking annoyed me. The mountain of dishes at the end didn't help my attitude at all. Nor did the tiny counter space in my little apartment kitchen. My change of heart occurred around the second week of our time in Grenada. Justin had bought me a Caribbean cookbook to help me with the overwhelming job of meal-making. As I flipped through the pages, I realised that I actually wanted to cook many of the recipes. Then the culminating thought: I have time to cook! I don't have anywhere I need to be! I can actually do this.
And so "do this" I have. My journey through food blogs began. I've found some fabulous recipes that use local ingredients. Most of the recipes have turned out much better than I ever hoped. Positive reinforcement from Justin has created a whole new love and enjoyment of cooking.

My desire to cook has grown since that second week and therefore has also forced me to cave in and join the meal plan crew. Despite my complaint about grocery stores, meal planning has greatly decreased the stress and time required for grocery shopping. It has lowered our food bill as well.
I'm excited to begin posting recipes that Justin and I have enjoyed. Maybe I'll throw a few pictures in there as well.

And don't worry. I'll still be posting about the beach, volunteering, bumming working around the house, Zoey, and med school.


Examples of meals we've had:

General Tso's Chicken

Okonomiyaki. Not the prettiest food but so delicious!
Zoey! (she's so cute!)